This is a work of "fiction".
I have to say that by law.
If I said it were a work of fact, in Washington D.C., every single person who ever came across my name...who ever thought I had a dime, or who ever saw another human being as a payoff from a slot machine....would be after me and my most meager bank account.
This is a work of FICTION.
Keep that in mind as I tell you that once...not so very long ago, I wanted to be a Researcher.
I was keen to discover the underground environment of Washington D.C., the secrets of military politics and the depths of human behavior in district communities, working groups, cultures and dirty streets.
I wanted to expose monumental truths, and bring to light the public injustices that occur at the feet of the U.S. Constitution...to describe my findings with the raw and profound methods I was taught in this city's namesake Graduate School.
I felt ready....ready to tear the scabs from the festering societal wounds.
But, "my friends" (as I use the hackneyed expression of today's frantic Senator John McCain, who at the time of this writing dares to say that he puts his country first....)
....I cannot tell the truth.
Not because I'm predisposed otherwise.
Not because the truth is beyond my grasp---but---because the SYSTEM simply will not let me.
Not without a terrible price.
Research, unlike Wall Street, has become a tightly controlled commodity.
There is no way to "ethically" do it without appropriate approval....and, oddly...the approval of it rests in the hands of individuals who are MOST concerned in how the research will affect THEM.
If its an academic institution--the research must be publishable AND it must benefit the institution in a way that THEY feel is favorable.
If it does not--then it is of no interest--and the graduate student is encouraged to pursue other pathways, other side-roads...while the barricades to their interests, ideas and innovations choke any breath of life remaining there and leave the heap to rot.
If the research is for a company or business, then the researcher's findings must end up affirming facts the COMPANY wants supported...or...the researcher is summarily fired and corporate executives find someone else to collect their lies and alibis. If the researcher capitulates, and gives the company what they want...falsifying data or (at best) skewing the results...then the company will own everything the researcher has done, and the fruits (or waste) of their work will never be seen with an originating name again. Which...under the circumstances...might be for the better.
If a Professional Organization approves of a researcher's proposals, then he/she must adhere to their many rules, regulations and finite distinctions that they have made along the way. A researcher under these circumstances must avoid discursive thoughts or actions that might culminate in the Organizations' disapproval, while all original thinking must be relinquished as the researcher simultaneously resigns him or herself to a pursuit of mediocrity.
These rules and regulations once served an honorable purpose. They were created, originally, to deter human rights violations. Human beings once suffered horrific crimes at the hands of researchers who used curiosity and cruelty to test their theories...who, without sanction proceeded to test humans to their own ends. From World War II, to the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiments...the protections were made to stop the abuses and instill a sense of responsibility within the researcher. Researchers could no longer abuse their power. Oddly, this also put great minds of the future before social firing squads.
Modern society, understanding its new-found sword against intelligent and questioning minds, began to learn how to control and manipulate researchers and started to use them for its own means. The inquiring minds, the ponderers of the world...had conveniently become slaves, devoid of rights, stripped of dignity and set on the curb begging for small scraps of approval from Institutional Review Boards whose sole purpose seemed to prevent knowledge and information from escaping capable lips and hands.
Academia wields its sword and plunges its blade into the very heart of an idealistic, creative mind, effectively severing the inspiration of the heart, while raping the product of the brain.
Businesses and Corporations easily prove to the communities around them that their products are safe--that there are few environmental concerns--as they manipulate and filter the hard work of honest souls looking for work, hoping for grants and jumping through the hoops of a paperwork obstacle course. Some believe its for a good cause, as greasy green fingers release findings they want the public to believe and stickily pocket its gratitude against a stinking legal ass.
Government thwarts honest research at every step--refusing, itself, to be examined by setting up roadblocks that would frustrate Constantine, Julius Caesar, and Napoleon combined.
And yet--Government will also take up the largest shopping basket and pick and choose from existing proofs and findings, the items that support the programs they desire to promote. Conversely, it will grind what it finds offensive, beneath a polished boot and call it unacceptable, unusable, and irrelevant.
Yes, "my friends"...this is the work of FICTION.
Not because I want it to be...but because it has to be.
So, as you read through the cyber lines I occasionally write, I ask you to consider....if it were NOT a work of fiction, what would it be?
I lie awake.
Copyright © 2008 Querus Abuttu